DS is 8. There's a child in his class who very troubled - some health problems, some mild learning difficulties, difficult home life I believe, and very naughty at school. Sometimes he is violent to other kids, but never has been to my DS.
DS doesn't consider him a friend, doesn't play with him, but it's a small class and they've worked together on projects etc. They've never fallen out but DS doesn't really like him.
Today DS came home with an invitation to this child's birthday party. He doesn't want to go. As far as I can tell, none of his friends are going, and other people I've asked aren't going either. I'm worried no one will go, because as I say, this child is pretty unpopular. I know he's a pain but I feel so sorry for him, because none of it is really his fault.
So, should I respect DS's views, and makes an excuse to not go? Or should I make him go because I feel sorry for the birthday child?
Do you think your son would be persuaded by what you've said here? Cid you explain that you understand he might not feel like it, but that he is very lucky to have other friends and that it would be a kind ring to do to give this boy another chance?
I'm not sure forcing him to go is the best way, but trying to guide him towards deciding to go himself might be an option?
I would probably think a bit like you OP - and have faced a similar situation. I think its important to teach empathy from an early age. And the thought of a child having few people (or no one) at the party makes me feel sad. I'd have to send him
If the child isn't mean to yours and it's just a case of your ds not wanting to go because his friends aren't going then I might try and talk him round. But if this other child bothers yours in any way and he has a valid reason to not want to go then I think it's his decision.
I agree with others. He’s never been unkind to your son, he just isn’t a friend. I would not force my son, but I would strongly suggest that this lad has multiple issues, and finds things difficult, not many children will go, and everyone should have a birthday if they can.
I think DoJo hit the nail on the head with guiding him to the right decision.
We've had this with choosing who to invite to parties too. Mostly you invite people you want to be there, but sometimes you also invite to be kind, or to avoid hurting people's feelings. At 8 I think you can give this angle a good go to persuade him, without it being "disrespectful of his feelings".